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Equatorial Guinea: Prisoners of conscience / fear of torture: Felipe Ondo Obiang, Bonifacio Nguema Esono

, Index number: AFR 24/015/1995

The above were arrested on 11 October at their homes in Malabo apparently for no other reason than their peaceful opposition to the government. Felipe Ondo Obiang, former parliamentarian, and Bonifacio Nguema Esono, former government minister, are two of the founder members of the opposition party, Republican Democratic Force, created in August 1995 but not yet legalized. Following their arrest the two men were reportedly put on a military plane bound for Bata where their place of detention is unknown. AI fears that they may face torture in detention.

EXTERNAL AI Index: AFR 24/15/95
UA 235/95 Prisoners of conscience / Fear of torture 12 October 1995
EQUATORIAL GUINEA Felipe Ondo Obiang, former parliamentarian
Bonifacio Nguema Esono, former government minister
Felipe Ondo Obiang and Bonifacio Nguema Esono were arrested on 11 October 1995,
at their homes in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea on Bioko Island,
apparently for no other reason than their peaceful opposition to the government.
Following their arrest the two men were reportedly driven by high ranking
security officers to Malabo airport and put on a military plane bound for Bata,
the capital of the continental region of Río Muni. Their place of detention
in Bata is not known. Amnesty International fears that they may face torture
in detention.
On 10 October Felipe Ondo Obiang and Bonifacio Nguema Esono had been summoned
to the central police station in Malabo where they were asked to sign a paper
indicating their agreement to a document sent to the police by the Minister
of Interior. The document stated that the two men were involved in activities
which endangered national security and that they were to leave Bioko Island
within 48 hours. Both men refused to sign.
Felipe Ondo Obiang and Bonifacio Nguema Esono are two of the founder members
of the opposition party Fuerza Demócrata Republicana (FDR) Republican
Democratic Force, created in August 1995 but not yet legalized. Felipe Ondo
Obiang was dismissed from his post as president of the Cámara de Representates
del Pueblo, Chamber of Peoples' Representatives, the Equatorial Guinean
parliament, in November 1994 after he criticised the country's human rights
record. Bonifacio Nguema Esono was a minister under the previous government
of Francisco Macías Nguema who was overthrown in 1979 by his nephew Teodoro
Obiang Nguema, the current president.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Equatorial Guinea held the first democratic municipal elections on 17 September
1995 which were monitored by about 27 international observers, including foreign
diplomats in the country. The elections were won by the ruling Partido
Democrático de Guinea Ecuatorial (PDGE), Equatorial Guinean Democratic Party,
led by President Obiang Nguema. Opposition parties are contesting the results.
During the election campaign Felipe Ondo Obiang and Bonifacio Nguema Esono
had called on the population to vote for the parties in the Joint Opposition
Platform.
Since the elections, hundreds of people have been arrested for voting for
opposition parties. Sixty of those arrested are currently being held at Malabo
police station. In Miboman, a village near Ebebiyín, in the north east corner
of Río Muni, at least one person was killed and several others seriously injured
when the security forces opened fire on the villagers who were celebrating
the victory of local opposition candidates.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/airmail
letters in Spanish or your own language:
- expressing concern at the arbitrary arrest of Felipe Ondo Obiang and Bonifacio
Nguema Esono, and calling for their immediate and unconditional release as
prisoners of conscience, arrested solely on account of their peaceful opposition
to the government;
2
- expressing fears that, as no steps have been taken to end the practice of
torture in Equatorial Guinea, they are at risk of being tortured or ill-treated
and seeking assurances that they will be treated humanely in accordance with
international standards for the treatment of detainees;
- calling for the two men to be granted immediate access to family members,
lawyers and medical personnel;
- expressing concern about the reported arbitrary arrests of hundreds of people
suspected of voting for opposition parties and the unlawful killing of at least
one person by the security forces.
APPEALS TO:
1. President
Teodoro Obiang Nguema
Presidente de la República
Gabinete del Presidente de la República
Malabo, República de Guinea Ecuatorial
Faxes: + 2409 3313
Telexes: 5405 GBNOM 5405 EG
Telegrams: Presidente Nguema, Malabo, Equatorial Guinea
Salutation: Su Excelencia / Your Excellency
2. Minister of Justice
Francisco Javier Ndongo Mbengono
Ministro de Justicia y Culto
Ministerio de Justicia y Culto
Malabo, República de Guinea Ecuatorial
Telegrams: Ministro de Justicia, Malabo, Guinea Ecuatorial
Telexes: 5405 GBNOM 5405 EG
Salutation: Excelentísimo Señor / Dear Minister
3. Minister of Interior
Julio Ndong Ela Mangue
Ministro del Interior
Ministerio del Interior
Malabo, República de Guinea Ecuatorial
Telegrams: Ministro de Interior, Malabo, Guinea Ecuatorial
Telexes: 5405 GBNOM 5405 EG
Salutation: Excelentísimo Señor / Dear Minister
COPIES TO:
Foreign Minister
Miguel Oyono Ndong Mifumu
Ministro de Asuntos Exteriores y Cooperación
Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores
Malabo, República de Guinea Ecuatorial
Faxes: + 2409 2320
and to diplomatic representatives of Equatorial Guinea accredited to your
country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 26 November 1995.

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